Edible gift for daddy
July 2, 2011 2:01 AM   Subscribe

What edible gift can I bring my dad for a belated fathers' day gift?

I am a keen cook, and like to make edible things to bring my dad when I go to visit him. I didn't send him a present in the post this fathers' day, so want to make something special to bring him when I go to visit next weekend.

- Should be something that can be made the day before and withstand a three hour-ish journey in a hot car.

- Can be sweet or savoury, but needs to be something snacky that he can keep in a tin and dip into, so not an entire dessert or main meal.

- Something like cupcakes or a savoury biscotti would be the sort of thing I am looking for, but I have made those for him countless times.

- He likes most cuisines and flavours, but is a particular fan of Middle Eastern cuisine. Also loves dark chocolate and nuts. Is quite adventurous with his tastes.

- Something sophisticated and smart would be good, as he can be a food snob!

I am quite an ambitious cook and can source most ingredients, so no restrictions there. Thank you for any ideas! For some reason I'm drawing a blank on this.
posted by schmoo to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
How about macaroons or chocolate chip cookies with dark chocolate?
posted by marais at 3:42 AM on July 2, 2011

Or maybe what my family used to call "crescent cookies"? Almond cookies from the Middle East? Here's one recipe.
posted by likeso at 4:04 AM on July 2, 2011

Best answer: Middle Eastern + sweet + nuts + sophisticated = baklava! The truly ambitious cook won't use pre-made phyllo dough ;-)

There's also sesame halvah, and while googling around I found that there's an Iranian version made with flour and rosewater instead of tahini. (I haven't tried either of these recipes; they just turned up at the top of the search results.)
posted by Quietgal at 4:06 AM on July 2, 2011

Right up until you said "sophisticated and smart" I was thinking Chex Mix. It's not upscale but it sure is good. One year I gave homemade Chex Mix to a bunch of people at Christmas and they still ask me to make more. There is one recipe in there for a sweet chocolate toffee version. Maybe you could make this in addition to whatever else you come up with, and pack it in a smart and sophisticated tin!
posted by Kangaroo at 4:06 AM on July 2, 2011

Best answer: There are lots of recipes for spiced nuts out there; what about few tins of various flavors - sweet, spicy, etc?

(links to Epicurious, Tastespotting and Smitten Kitchen as examples)
posted by sciencegeek at 4:33 AM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Mmm, baklava.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:26 AM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Chili-lime chickpeas are wicked good. If that's not as effortful as you need, perhaps you could try a variety of roasted chickpea flavors in a tin with cardboard dividers. The link I gave you links back to an assortment of other roasted chickpeas approaches on The Kitchn.
posted by SomeTrickPony at 5:58 AM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've made these dark chocolate meringue drop cookies several times and they are usually gone within a day. Unlike regular meringues, these only take 8-12 minutes to bake and I can fit the entire batch on two cookie sheets and bake all at once.

I use a high quality dark chocolate, 70%-80%, and omit the cocoa nibs.

They should keep well if you let them cool completely before storing and keep the box out of direct sunlight.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:06 AM on July 2, 2011

What about palmiers?

Here's a cinnamon version; Cook's Illustrated has both savory and sweet recipes (paid site, but you can also do a 14-day free trial).
posted by mauvest at 6:15 AM on July 2, 2011

Do you ever do canning? A batch of jam takes less time than baking a cake, and it's shelf-stable until it's opened when processed properly. I sent my dad some strawberry-jalapeno jam and some lemon-ginger marmalade for Father's Day. If you haven't done it before, this is a good starting point.
posted by Daily Alice at 7:29 AM on July 2, 2011

You could make up a batch of these amazing dark chocolate cookies and leave half frozen, so he could have half to snack from for a little while, and then slice, bake and eat more as desired. I know that doesn't sound overwhelmingly sophisticated, but the cookies themselves are far more intense and delicious than the slice 'n' bake methodology implies.
posted by dizziest at 7:56 AM on July 2, 2011

Homemade peanut brittle hits a spot for a lot of nut lovin' people that no other food item really does. Obviously, you can easily replace peanuts with macadamia nuts, cashews, almonds, etc. to make alternative flavors of brittle.
posted by paulsc at 8:33 AM on July 2, 2011

My own father laughed his head off the time a couple of my sisters and I --- frustrated by his "oh, anything will do!" whenever we'd ask what he'd like for his birthday --- threatened to give him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

One sister made jam, another made homemade peanut butter, and I made the bread, all from scratch, and we presented it to him as an assemble-it-yourself sandwich kit. He thought it was hilarious!
posted by easily confused at 11:11 AM on July 2, 2011

Chocolate Guinness cake? Maybe done as cupcakes if you want a smaller snack-ish version? Though I don't know if this falls under "sophisticated and smart" - I guess it depends on his tastes!
posted by SymphonyNumberNine at 11:21 AM on July 2, 2011

I also suggest spiced/salted nuts or baklava.
posted by deborah at 3:09 PM on July 2, 2011

Best answer: i'm cheering for baklava, too! some of the best i've tasted had pistachios, so i went looking for a recipe, and look at this one originally from bon appetite. ooooo. that looks lovely.
posted by miss patrish at 6:33 PM on July 2, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! Some great ideas here, but I have marked as best answer those who suggested baklava (can't believe I hadn't thought of that - he loves it!), roasted chickpeas and spiced nuts - I may try making all three and give him a trio of tasty snacks!
posted by schmoo at 11:49 PM on July 4, 2011

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